2023 Toronto Pride Guide
Published: June 1, 2023
Get ready to show your Pride in Toronto this month! UP Express welcomes the 2SLGBTQI+ community and its allies to Toronto for Canada’s largest Pride celebration, culminating in the Toronto Pride Parade over Pride Weekend, June 23-25, 2023.
At Metrolinx we’re proud to be a supporter of Pride Toronto since 2012 and this year is no different. Wherever your Pride celebrations take you, we’re here to move you safely, no matter where you’re from or how you’re celebrating.
Beginning June 1 and featuring hundreds of events and more than 300 queer artists, party collectives and community programs throughout the month of June, this Toronto Pride Guide will help you get your Pride Month on.
Flag Raising Ceremony At City Hall
The City of Toronto kicks off Pride Month with the annual flag raising ceremony at city hall. The ceremony acknowledges the history, courage, and diversity of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQI+ community as we welcome speakers, advocates, visitors, families, and allies from around the world to Toronto in June.
Deputy Toronto Mayor Jennifer McKelvie and members of Toronto City Council will raise the Progress Pride Flag at Toronto City Hall with a public ceremony on the podium green roof at 12:30 p.m. on June 1. Designed in 2018 by artist Daniel Quasar, the Progress Pride Flag includes a five-coloured chevron addition to the classic Rainbow Flag to place a greater emphasis on inclusion and progression. The flag includes black and brown stripes to represent marginalized 2SLGBTQI+ communities of color, along with the colours pink, light blue, and white, which are used on the Transgender Pride Flag.
This year, the Progress Pride Flag will also be raised at all civic centres on June 1 to kick off Pride Month.
Toronto Pride Festival
The highlight of Pride Toronto’s month-long celebrations is the Toronto Pride Parade on Sunday June 25. Attracting over one million spectators and participants from around the world, it’s an event not to be missed! Are you attending your first Toronto Pride and want to participate in the parade? Whether you’re new to the country, city, to the 2SLGBTQI+ community or anywhere in between, My First Pride Contingent is for anyone experiencing their first Pride who would like to walk in the parade with a group of other first-timers. The day before the big parade, the Toronto Dyke March welcomes all self-identified Dykes, Trans Dykes, non-binary Dykes and any other Dyke to join the annual demonstration. Join the Dyke March Afterparty and community fair at the Garden Stage for dyke and lesbian performers, DJs, and art vendors.
Be on the lookout for the GO Transit “Pride. Every day. Always.” Pride bus during the Pride Parade! Not only are we happy and proud to be visible during Pride month, Metrolinx, GO Transit, UP Express, and PRESTO are dedicated to supporting the 2SLGBTQI+ community year-round, internally and across our transit system. We value the diversity of our employees, our customers and the communities we serve, and are committed to being leaders in supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Metrolinx also has a robust Inclusion Strategy, which is supported by education, unconscious bias training (including 2SLGBTQI+ awareness), and clear harassment and discrimination policies – no matter where you are or where you’re going, we’re proud to be part of your journey, every day, always.
The Hottest Toronto Pride Party Events
There are countless ways to celebrate Toronto Pride! The party begins on June 2 with Royal Tea featuring drag superstars from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK strutting their stuff at this ticketed event. Krystal Versace, Victoria Scone, Black Peppa and more gorgeous queens bring a one-of-a-kind party to Queen Elizabeth Theatre on the Exhibition grounds. Hot tip: Skip the traffic and parking hassles and party safely with easy access via GO Transit to Exhibition GO Station from UP Express Union Station, just one quick stop away from the venue.
We’ve got a good reason to party! Toronto visitors and locals will want to check out the Green Space Festival happening June 21 to 25 and party for a good cause. This fully accessible outdoor dance party features theme nights with a line-up of world-class drag performers, DJs, and more with all funds supporting The 519, the largest 2SLGBTQI+ community centre in Canada. Toronto will be one big party on June 25 thanks to local party collective Blackness Yes!
This year, the organization celebrates 25 years of Pride participation with their annual showstopping Blockorama party on the Bud Light Seltzer Wellesley Stage. Pride Toronto’s longest-running stage, the free Blockorama 25: Legacies party shines the spotlight on the local 2SLGBTQI+ African, Black, and Caribbean community. A must-attend Pride party, join DJs, artists, drag and ballroom performers, health workers and activists to celebrate Black love.
During your Toronto Pride visit, show some love to local businesses. The Village, located near Church St. and Wellesley St. is home to 2SLGBTQI+ restaurants, bars, businesses, artists, vendors, and community services run by queer folk and their allies that are worth checking out. The neighbourhood is located a pleasant 3km stroll from UP Express and GO Transit at Union Station, or a short ride on TTC subway from Union Station to Wellesley Station.
Pride Toronto for Families and Seniors
Toronto is a welcoming and inclusive city and Pride celebrations are no different.
Join Family Pride June 24 and 25 and celebrate the strength and uniqueness of 2SLGBTQI+ families, caregivers, parents, and children. Now in its 24th year, Family Pride features a fun-filled, young kid-friendly oasis of magic shows, face painting, puppet shows and storytime. Families will also delight in the all-ages Pup Your Pride on June 24 featuring doggy treats and giveaways as well as a pup Pride parade down Church Street at 2 p.m. Fun for the young and young at heart, Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA holds a special Pride Toronto night on June 9, with up to 20% off tickets for those ages 2 and up.
Champion, uplift, and celebrate the senior 2SLGBTQI+ community with the second annual Senior Pride on June 17. This free event features performances, delicious food, ice cream, henna artists, door prizes, and so much more at the Rekai Centres Long Term Care where the first Rainbow Wing has opened. All are welcome to attend and hear the stories of intergenerational partnerships and Rainbow Seniors as well as discover various advocacy and social organizations supporting senior 2SLGBTQI+ community.
Families and seniors can save on UP Express year-round with special discounted fares while kids 12 and under always travel for free. Our trains are fully accessible with ample room for mobility devices and strollers onboard including barrier-free boarding at platform level.
Pride Events With PRESTO Perks
Your PRESTO card comes with perks during Pride Toronto! Not only does your PRESTO card allow you cashless travel at a reduced fare between Pearson Airport and downtown Toronto’s UP Express Union Station, you can save 15% off two ticketed 2023 Pride events – Simply use the code PRESTO15 at checkout to save on admission.
On June 10, Cherry Beach in Toronto’s Port Lands plays host to the annual ‘Til Sunset: The Beach Party. Rain or shine get ready to dance the day and night away in the sand to the sounds of international recording artist CupcakKe and talented A-list performers from the Black 2SLGBTQI+ Toronto community.
Get wet and wild with TikTok twins and RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni Sugar and Spice at Pride Toronto’s legendary pool party on June 16. Soak up the sun and show off your sexiest swimwear at pool party’s brand new location at Sunset Beach at the Grand Bizarre Supper Club on Exhibition grounds, just one GO Transit stop from UP Express Union Station. Live your best Pride party life and splash out on a VIP cabana, bottle service, and more as legendary DJs and local drag performers keep the party going all night long.
Ride With Pride
No matter what your plans look like, Metrolinx is honoured to be a part of your 2023 Pride Toronto plans. With safe, inclusive, and convenient service, UP Express moves you from Pearson Airport to downtown Toronto’s Union Station in 25 minutes, with trains running every 15-minutes. Adult one-way ticket is only $12.35, purchase a ticket online or through electronic ticket vending machines. UP Express also offers contactless payments via credit card, mobile wallet or PRESTO card.
For more Pride Month events and activities, check out the complete Toronto Pride Guide for a complete lineup of events from June 1 through 25th. Happy Pride, Toronto!